Funeral set for S.D. man killed in year’s fifth fatal grain bin accident

A South Dakota farmer was killed Monday trying to empty a grain bin filled with corn. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Feb. 20 (UPI) — Funeral services will be held Friday for a South Dakota farmer who was killed earlier this week in a grain bin accident.

Christopher Bauman, 27, was found dead in a bin filled with corn in rural Elkton on Monday afternoon. Bauman had been emptying corn from the bin, according to the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office. Officials do not know why he entered the bin.

Local fire crews removed sections of the silo to quickly remove the corn and reach Bauman, o the sheriff’s office said.

Bauman leaves behind a wife and three young children, according to his obituary. Instead of flowers, his family has asked for people to donate money to his wife to help care for their children.

Friends have established a Go Fund Me page that, as of Thursday afternoon, had surpassed $28,000.

Bauman worked with his father and brother on the farm where he grew up, according to his obituary. In high school, he was an active member of the Future Farmers of America. He later earned his associate’s degree in agricultural production.

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“He enjoyed farming, snowmobiling, being with family and friends, and talking on the phone with family and friends constantly,” according to his obituary. “His favorite summer pastime was baling hay and cornstalks in late fall. He loved his J.I. Case Tractors.”

His family has invited friends and neighbors to bring their tractors Friday for the procession to the cemetery.

Bauman is at least the fifth farmer to die in a grain bin accident in the United States this year.

Dozens of farmers and farm workers lose their lives in grain bin accidents every year. Such accidents happen most often on farms, rather than commercial grain elevators, said Jeff Adkisson, a board member on the Grain Handling Safety Council.

Farms often are not required to adhere to the same Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety regulations that commercial facilities must follow — like wearing a safety harness, turning off equipment while inside the bin and never working alone.

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